“The US Department of Justice, for the first time, will keep a comprehensive database of fatal officer-involved incidents, amid rising skepticism around police accountability.
It seems impossible to ignore that the announcement from the Federal Register came late on Monday, just one day before the two-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown — the unarmed black teenager who was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. His death triggered protests, sparked a national conversation about policing, and shone a spotlight on the systemic racism that pervades criminal justice in the US.
Until now, the FBI has maintained a dataset which includes information about fatal police shootings. Local law-enforcement agencies can voluntarily submit homicide statistics, including incidents involving police, to state police departments, which in turn send the data to the FBI. But since Brown’s death, that system has been widely discredited.”
An NYPD officer recorded his captain asking him why he’s not arresting more “bad guys.” Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
“When NYPD officer Michael Birch was summoned into a performance evaluation meeting with his commanding officer and a lieutenant one day in August 2012, he was expecting to hear more of what he’d heard in the past about the way he did his job: that he wasn’t generating enough “activity.” As an officer in the transit bureau, he says, that meant being told to issue more summonses for fare evasion, and arresting more people for stealing fellow straphangers’ cell phones.
Instead, “the conversation just turned completely weird to me,” he said in an interview this week. “Because he’s basically telling me it’s OK to racially profile.”
Birch provided Gawker with what he claims is a recording he secretly made of that meeting, on which a man who seems to be his commanding officer can be heard repeatedly questioning him about his recent summonses, placing particular emphasis on the fact that he has only stopped two black men out of 54 total people. “Two male blacks,” the man says at one point. “So you’re telling me you only saw two male blacks jump the turnstile?”