The cover image for this post is the Veterans Exempt Flag from the War of 1812. It was flown during the Battle of Plattsburgh, New York, by a company of militiamen who, as veterans of the Revolutionary War, were exempt from the draft. They chose to fight anyway.
Please excuse the long delay between now and the previous entry regarding this topic. I just feel so drained talking this subject matter, much less diving in and looking through a bunch of clips of it, that it was hard to motivate myself to continue devoting time to the project. Anyway, in this post I will provide backup copies of several particularly egregious examples of police brutality, intimidation and misconduct which I’m aware of. This was no easy task, considering my Facebook and Reddit saved list were full of videos and articles to cull through. (Unfortunately a dozen or so Facebook videos were since deleted or made private between when I saved them and the creation of this list so I couldn’t include them.)
As you can see in the image of a Wikipedia directory posted below, to provide a fully exhaustive collection (as was my original lofty goal) would be neigh impossible due to the sheer scale of the problem. I did what I could at this time but the project is far from completed. Besides expanding the volume of cases, I would like to come back to this at some point in the future and organize the stories in some categorically useful way (chronological, by source, type of police transgression or geographical perhaps–maybe in an Excel sheet so viewers can do all at once.) For right now though, it was tedious and emotionally exhausting enough just transferring the links here in one place, and ripping the videos off YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and elsewhere. So, I will continue to improve on this repository of police abuse in the near future, and in the meantime I hope just marveling at the ridiculous magnitude of examples is enough to convince skeptics that this problem needs to be addressed already. At this point, anyone denying that there’s a serious issue here is burying their head in the sand.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go take a nice long bath, make a chocolate milkshake, hold my stuffed animals close, watch Barbarella and try to forget some of the things I’ve seen over the last three days in the process of making this series.
Concerning the videos I ripped from other sources: my intention is not to take credit for anyone else’s work in creating them. I just feel it’s essential for posterity to host a second copy on a separate server so that if the original gets taken off the other site, people can still find it. (Believe me, I’ve seen thousands of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter material go missing at the drop of a hat, never to be seen again.) I believe the severity of this societal illness is so great that it warrants redundancy of all video evidence. If you disagree with that principle as the original creator, and you really don’t want your video on this page, just contact me in the comments or by email and I will take it down for you.
This shall be an ongoing project I will continue to update as I either see/read about new instances or summon the willpower to wade through past events. So feel free to stop back in the future and check for updates–or if you have any specific cases you think should be included post them in the comments. In the meantime feel free to also check out these additional catalogs:
This website keeps track of the number of Americans killed by cops each year.
BlueLeaks is a massive hack of 269 gigabytes of data from law enforcement. (Here’s an Alternate source about it.)
The Subreddit r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut documents many instances of police brutality, far more than I could back up for posterity here.
Here’s a YouTube channel solely devoted to Police Brutality.
This YouTube playlist contains over 1,000 videos of police brutality, again, far more than I could host here.
Additional YouTube Playlist with tons of videos documenting police misconduct.
Activists Create Public Online Spreadsheet of Police Violence Videos
An Academic Paper About Use of Force
Police Violence: Understanding and Controlling Police Abuse of Force
Risk of being killed by police use of force in the United States by age, race–ethnicity, and sex
To Any Apologists for Brutality & Misconduct
So, I explained my take on this issue pretty thoroughly last time around, but since the publication of that essay I’ve seen several people defending this behavior and I’m frankly kind of disgusted by such attitudes. I would like to quickly say the following in response:
Whatever the circumstances of this latest instance of police brutality, whether the victim was “a criminal” or not I think it’s disgusting how many people in America are just okay with the idea that cops should be able to use lethal force on a whim. We’ve descended from a nation that fought for our liberty and pride ourselves on holding government accountable to a bunch of servile fascist boot-lickers. Whatever your position on BLM or police reforms, I think this shameful apologism in the face of lethal, government-condoned use of force against its own citizenry is a blight on the legacy of our founders and principles. That was not the United States of Washington and Jefferson’s time, nor should we allow it to be the United States of Obama, Trump or anyone else.
I added the disclaimer in the previous paragraph (highlighted with italics) because, admittedly, I haven’t read up on the new case in Wisconsin yet and don’t have all the info. The point is, it shouldn’t matter. Whether the cops were justified or not in this one particular instance, that doesn’t excuse the pro-authoritarian sentiments of these comments I’ve preserved below. Whether the person they shoot turns out to have a criminal history doesn’t make it okay for the cops to treat us all like garbage as the default and then justify it later by digging up a traffic violation, weed possession or whatever irrelevant charge from 10 years ago. No mistake, nor any crime, legitimizes the summary execution of a US citizen without a fair trial, and nothing warrants killing a human being in the streets like a dog. Forgive me, but I feel even criminals deserve an ounce of dignity–and I’m not conceding the point that Jacob Blake nor any other victim of police brutality listed below was a criminal either.
Imagine going about your business, generally being a nice person, and then getting killed by a “bad cop.” Now imagine you don’t even get respect in death as every imbecile with an axe to grind or a position to push starts making demeaning assumptions about your character, or cracking sarcastic jokes at your expense without ever having known you. All this while your family is trying to grieve, other Americans are frightened for their safety as a result of this precedent, and you’re not even there to defend yourself in the face of their defamation. That’s not the America I want to live in.
I hate how so many people immediately assume the police are 100% in the right and the suspect brought it on themselves for the briefest of delays following (sometimes impossible-to-comply-with) orders or behaving in any way but the most self-abasing disposition possible. You’re turning our country into a place where the rest of us can’t walk the streets confident that we will be treated fairly by actors of the state. You’re creating an expectation that all people must carry themselves in a perpetual state of fear and submissiveness to all manner of degradation by anyone with a badge. Whether you recognize it or not, the logical conclusion to your position is a world where cops can abuse their power because they know that no matter what, they will be defended in the court of public opinion. We should all be skeptical, concerned and even outraged anytime actors of the state kill a private citizen. It shouldn’t be considered business as usual, it should be an indication that the cops failed in their duty to keep the peace in all but the most extreme of circumstances. “Why must we react in such a manner,” you may ask. Because the minute we show complacency in the face of such power, we signal to every corrupt, careless or outright malicious officer and magistrate of the state that they can take advantage of our weakness and docility. And they will–they already have, in fact.
The suspect/victim should always be given the benefit of the doubt over police until evidence proves their death/maiming/trauma was unavoidable by any person acting responsibly. The reason is because they are always in the weaker, more vulnerable position in any interaction where the other person has the tools and justification for lethal force. (Also, in cases where the victim is dead, they aren’t around to give their own side of the story anymore.) On the other hand, cops should always be held to a higher standard by virtue of the power their position of authority grants them over others. We trust them to have power over life and death, so they need to constantly earn that trust by being on their best behavior. They should use it solely in defense of the most vulnerable and innocent in society. In short, police represent the state and ought to conduct themselves as such–with deference and civility towards the people, who themselves are the arbiters of consent from which government derives its legitimacy. Like politicians, cops work for us and they should act like it.
Instances From Before/Unrelated to the Protests
Private Firms Pour Millions into Militarizing Police via Charities
Why Firing a Bad Cop Is Damn Near Impossible
Illinois’ Top Legal Officer Wants To License Cops, Just Like Doctors, Hairdressers
“Experimental concentration camp”: Whistleblower alleges women face hysterectomies in ICE detention
A sheriff launched an algorithm to predict who might commit a crime. Dozens of people said they were harassed by deputies for no reason.
Why filming police violence has done nothing to stop it
Police Were Called on Predominantly Black Voters Waiting to Cast Ballots After Midnight in Georgia
A Minneapolis Police Officer Opens Up About the Toxic Culture Inside the Department
Cops Seize Server that Hosted BlueLeaks, DDoSecrets Says
Poll: 63% of Americans Favor Eliminating Qualified Immunity for Police
LEAKED DOCUMENTS SHOW POLICE KNEW FAR-RIGHT EXTREMISTS WERE THE REAL THREAT AT PROTESTS, NOT “ANTIFA”
Las Vegas police plan $280 an hour fee for body cam footage. Critics say that violates law
In the US, white supremacists have infiltrated police and military to get weapons training
FBI warned of white supremacists in law enforcement 10 years ago.
THE FBI HAS QUIETLY INVESTIGATED WHITE SUPREMACIST INFILTRATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
Extremist cops: how US law enforcement is failing to police itself
Tear Gas Is Banned in International Warfare––Why Are Police Using It On U.S. Civilians?
Yes, American police act like occupying armies. They literally studied their tactics
KKK IN THE PD: WHITE SUPREMACIST POLICE AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
8 Ways We Regularly Commit Felonies Without Realizing It
Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent
A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising
George Floyd was murdered by America: a historian’s perspective on the history of U.S. police brutality against Black people
A city council member in Norman proposed a police budget cut. Then officers posted her address online. Her neighbor was raped as a result.
HOW COPS CAN SECRETLY TRACK YOUR PHONE
Cop kicks and drag female driver during traffic stop in McDonald’s parking lot in San Jose
Witness video shows Phoenix police holding man on hot street before his death
Atlanta police officer fired after Rayshard Brooks death during confrontation at Wendy’s drive-thru
2 Kansas City Officers Charged With Assaulting Transgender Woman
The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther
When LA Erupted In Anger: A Look Back At The Rodney King Riots
Are Police Jamming Cell Phones At Standing Rock Protest? The FCC Should Investigate.
New Jersey police officer charged with assault after allegedly deploying pepper spray ‘without provocation’
Officers protect fired cop Derek Chauvin’s home after George Floyd death
Two New York ex-policemen walk free after sex with handcuffed suspect
Fact check: Sex between police officers and their detainees isn’t illegal in many states
MCAO: Phoenix Police officer charged with sexual assault of woman in custody
Black man dies after police cover his head with hood and press his face into the ground while he is naked and handcuffed
Black trans man shot dead by white cop in Florida’s third fatal police shooting in two months
Body cam video shows Louisville police officer tasing woman sitting on her hands
Lawsuit: Cops ‘stomped’ on pregnant black woman’s stomach, causing miscarriage
What is kettling? Here’s a look into the usage and history of the controversial police tactic
Phoenix viral-video arrest puts focus on troubling police escalation incidents nationwide
Buckeye Police create registry program for individuals with autism, other disabilities
Documents: 5 Trenton cops used force on 64-year-old white man who later died in ICU
Colorado police officers fired for recreating chokehold in photos at Elijah McClain memorial
Elijah McClain was injected with ketamine while handcuffed. Some medical experts worry about its use during police calls.
Police shot a man after a high-speed chase. It’s Georgia’s 50th police shooting investigated by GBI this year
Police Pulled Over Two Black Men For Having An Air Freshener In Their Car. A Court Ruled The Stop Was Legitimate.
Police smash car window of man on way home from TV interview about police racism
Wrongly arrested Black man sues a Georgia city and police officers for excessive force and injury
Frank Serpico says “The Police Are Still Out of Control”
‘I can’t breathe,’ Oklahoma man tells police before dying. ‘I don’t care,’ officer responds.
Death of Kendrick Johnson (Additional Info)
Greek-American killed by New York police as neighbour clapped
Providence fire union says police ‘profiled’ on-duty black firefighter when they held him at gunpoint
Fired Wilmington cop: “We are just going to go out and start slaughtering them f—— ni—–. I can’t wait. God, I can’t wait.”
Part-time Rossville Police officer fired following a Facebook post that calls for hanging
Some Atlanta police stay out of work for a third day after officers charged in fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks
Police In Minneapolis Repeatedly Told Paramedics To Inject People With Tranquilizers
Hispanic man dies after being shot by San Bernardino police officer
Police killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta ruled a homicide
A black Buffalo cop stopped another officer’s chokehold. She was fired.
Live PD defends destroying video of Javier Ambler dying in police custody
Here’s What You Need to Know About Elijah McClaine’s Death
New video reveals Layleen Polanco’s death at Rikers was preventable, family says
Salt Lake City officer charged with felony after ordering K-9 to bite Black man
“Blood All Over”: Physicians’ Group Identifies 115 Head Injuries Caused By So-Called “Less-Lethal” Projectiles
Fired cop charged with murder for using chokehold on Latino man
Former Florida cop arrested for kneeling on pregnant black woman’s neck, tasering her and causing miscarriage
‘You Broke My Wrist’: Georgia Cops Seen Using Excessive Force On Black Man Before Realizing They Had The Wrong Guy
4 Cops Beat Pregnant Woman, Stomping on Her Stomach During False Arrest, Causing Miscarriage
Louisiana Deputy Claims Self-Defense in 6-Year-Old’s Fatal Shooting (& Video of Shooting)
Breonna Taylor’s Death: What You Need to Know
A SWAT TEAM BLEW A HOLE IN A 2-YEAR-OLD BABY (& The Officer was Acquitted)
Police officers shoot and kill Los Angeles security guard: ‘He ran because he was scared’
LA Cops Shoot And Kill Dijon Kizzee Following Alleged ‘Bicycle Code Violation’
Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won’t Be Fired (& Wasn’t Charged)
This Is The Toy Gun That Got Tamir Rice Killed 3 Years Ago Today
OKC officer says he shot a 14-year-old who had a gun. Boy says he was unarmed and got no warning
Portsmouth to pay $200,000 in settlement with man shot by police
Report: 86 people carrying fake or toy guns killed by police in 2 years
Arizona officer who shot, killed boy who was holding a replica gun won’t face charges
LAPD, Torrance Police Shot At Innocent People In Frenzied Hunt For Former Cop Christopher Dorner
Dorner manhunt: Torrance cop won’t be charged for shooting at truck
Cops admit vandalizing cars of man who filed complaint against them, prosecutor says
Six former Houston police officers indicted in botched drug raid that left two dead
Georgia deputy fired after punching Black man repeatedly during arrest, sheriff says
Police in the U.S. killed 164 Black people in the first 8 months of 2020. These are their names.
Police shoot 13-year-old boy with autism several times after mother calls for help
Former North Miami Officer Jonathan Aledda Will Not Face Jail Time For Shooting Of Unarmed Caretaker
Caught On Camera: Colorado Police Handcuff Kids
N.J. cop accused of installing GPS on suspect’s vehicle without a warrant
The Police Report for the Killing of Breonna Taylor Is Almost Entirely Blank
Live PD defends destroying video of Javier Ambler dying in police custody
Video appears to show police punch, tase black man who died
New audio of police interviews sheds light on police probe of fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor
Several San Jose police officers accused of participating in closed Facebook page with racist posts
Instances Directly Related to the Recent Protests
Denver Post photographer struck twice by pepper balls during George Floyd protest
Photojournalist and author Linda Tirado blinded in Minneapolis protests (& Tweet from the Victim Herself)
DC Police Again Turn to Kettling
US police shoot rubber bullets at Swiss journalists
Journalists covering protests face assault and arrest
George Floyd: ‘Unacceptable’ attacks on reporters at protests
Across America, police violently arrested and shot less-lethal rounds at journalists covering George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests
Protests Erupt In Pennsylvania After Police Fatally Shoot Man Wielding A Knife
Iowa police chief says Facebook post calling protesters ‘road bumps’ was ‘a total accident’
At least 40 lawsuits claim police brutality at George Floyd protests across U.S.
‘We’re suffering the same abuses’: Latinos hear their stories echoed in police brutality protests
It’s been over 3 months since George Floyd was killed by police. Police are still killing Black people at disproportionate rates.
Tulsa Police Investigate Officer After Remarks About Race and Shootings
NOPD sergeant loses police powers after calling protesters ‘animals,’ saying he’d run them over
Police pepper-spraying of 7-year-old boy at BLM protest in Seattle was ‘lawful and proper,’ report finds
‘Toxic Culture’ of Police Departments Decried After 57 Buffalo Officers Resign in Support of Two in Unit Who Attacked Elderly Man
She Protested In Seattle, Then Spent 2 ‘Terrifying’ Days In Jail
“A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by Donald Trump’s secret police” Now what?
Seven Minneapolis police officers resign after George Floyd protests, citing lack of support from city leaders
Police Have Long History of Responding to Black Movements by Playing the Victim
From the Administration that Brought You Kids-in-Cages, It’s Tear-Gassed-Moms
A police union’s new video claims that “blue racism” against cops is more racist than actual racism
Cop busted texting his daughter from his work phone that he wants to kill a gay couple
‘His Brain Is Injured:’ Lawyer Updates on 75-Year-Old NY Protester Shoved by Police
Denver police fire pepper balls at man yelling that his pregnant fiancée is in car
‘We’re asking for demilitarization’: Seattle police tactics under fire
New ‘wall’ of military veterans protects Portland protesters
Plainclothes cops in an unmarked van abducted a trans teenager as she skateboarded down the street
Anonymous security forcing citizens into cars is mark of dictatorship
Seattle police continue to use ‘flash-bang’ grenades during protests, despite recommendations
Off-duty cop slashes tires in Pittston, charges looming
I was kidnapped by police for nine hours for being a Black Lives Matter protester
If Cops Are Lining Up With Armed Vigilantes, We Better Start Fireproofing the Reichstag
Body camera video shows Cleveland police officer pepper sprayed peaceful protester in the face
Aurora police union chief seeking criminal charges against Elijah McClain protest leader
Video shows police officers shoving woman during large protest in Pittsburgh
Police: Richmond riots instigated by white supremacists disguised as Black Lives Matter
WATCH: Buffalo police order Black woman not to walk on same side of the street as slur-shouting white men
The Department of Homeland Security was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force
‘No Tactics… Just Seemed Like a Gang’: Navy Veteran Speaks Out After Attack by Secret Police in Viral Video Viewed Nearly 10 Million Times
Portland’s Wall of Moms Joined by Dads With Leaf Blowers Against Trump’s Police
Trump Unleashes His Secret Police in Portland
Trump Sent Cops to Portland and They’re ‘Kidnapping People off the Streets’
Protesters confront Allentown mayor, police Saturday night about video of officer kneeling on man’s neck
Phoenix Police Kill Man in Parked Car, Igniting New Protests
Video captures car driving through barricade at Lawrence protest
Leaked documents show how police used social media to track George Floyd protesters
POLICE CRUISER DRIVES INTO PROTESTERS IN DETROIT – VIDEO
Buffalo police arraigned for felony assault, elderly protester still critical
Aurora riot police confronted the peaceful violin vigil for Elijah McClain with pepper spray
St. Louis mayor reads names and addresses of protesters who want to defund police
Cops teargassed protesters at Cleveland
Portland downtown protest ends with officers firing ‘munitions,’ apparent foam-tipped projectile shot to the back of a person’s head
Global press urges President Trump to curb police violence against journalists covering US protests
San Francisco may stop hiring cops with records of misconduct (Why in fuck hell were they hiring them in the first place???)
George Floyd death: Los Angeles police slammed for shooting homeless, wheelchair-bound man
Video Shows San Diego Police Officer Threatening To Shoot Protesters During Arrest
Tacoma mayor calls for officers to be fired, prosecuted after man dies in custody
Officers who killed man at Las Vegas protest had no body cameras
Covering badge numbers has become established police protocol – and this is precisely the problem
Some law enforcement officers at protests have no badges and some have covered them. City officials say that is unacceptable
Some police have appeared to cover their badges with black bands at protests. Police say it is to mourn fallen officers, advocates say it is to hide misconduct.
Hi Cassandra. This is an important piece of work. Something that needed to be done. Police are supposed to protect and serve, not act as judge, jury and executioners. Well done. As usual I am very proud to be your friend. This must represent a massive amount of time, Can’t say enough to phrase this work. Great job!