Tennessee and Georgia police under investigation for in-custody deaths
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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has opened an inquiry into the violent arrest of a Black man near Memphis, Tennessee, for allegedly running a stop sign.
Brandon Calloway, 25, failed to stop at a stop sign and then sped away, according to a police affidavit. Officers followed him to his family’s home where they forced entry and violently arrested him. Calloway’s girlfriend captured some of the encounter on video which depicts officers swinging batons and discharging a stun gun before restraining him on the ground, with one officer stepping on his head or neck.
Mr. Wharton, the lawyer, described the police officers’ actions as vicious and intolerable. “We don’t treat animals like that; but we certainly don’t treat human beings like that,” he added…
Since his arrest, Mr. Calloway said, he has been suffering from “constant headaches and eye pain” and was having trouble focusing. He said that he had received stitches on both sides of his head and had injuries “all over” his body. Mr. Calloway said he has also been forgetful and felt out of touch with reality. “I keep asking people if this is a dream,” he said. “I’m really just traumatized.”
Calloway was charged with evading arrest, resisting, disorderly conduct, failing to stop at a stop sign and speeding.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is probing how a 28-year-old woman died after “falling” out of a police car in transit to the sheriff’s office.
Hancock County deputies were called to assist the family of Brianna Marie Grier, an African American woman from Sparta who was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode on July 15. Two officers arrested her and put her in the back of their police car. Her parents assumed she had been taken to the sheriff’s office until they were informed Grier had been airlifted to the hospital with a head injury.
It is unclear how Grier fell out of the car, as all patrol cars are supposed to be locked from the inside. According to her family, Sheriff Terrell Primus said their daughter managed to kick her way out of the car in an attempt to escape.
At roughly 6 a.m. on July 15, he said an officer came to the family’s home and said that Brianna “kicked the door open and jumped out of the car.”
A dystopian surveillance law went into effect last week in Houston requiring certain businesses to not only install security cameras, but also to provide all footage to law enforcement without a warrant.
The Houston City Council voted 15-1 in April “to establish a requirement for bars, nightclubs, sexually oriented businesses, convenience stores, and game rooms to install exterior security cameras providing video coverage from the exterior of the building to the property line.” Upon request from police, businesses will be forced to turn their footage over within three days.
The Council claims the measure is necessary to reduce crime, but offers no evidence that more security cameras, installed at the business owners’ expense, will have an impact:
As background, the City of Houston has experienced an increase of violent crimes due to the pandemic, social anxiety and economic uncertainty, open carry law and a strained criminal justice system resulting in a criminal backlog of cases. The City of Houston Code of Ordinances does not currently require that owners and operators of bars, nightclubs, sexually oriented businesses, convenience stores, and game rooms provide exterior video coverage of their buildings.
As should go without saying, security cameras do nothing to impact the pandemic, social anxiety, and economic uncertainty. Failure to comply with the new ordinance could result in a $500 fine.
A New York corrections officer was charged with second degree murder and manslaughter for shooting and killing 18-year-old Raymond Chaluisant last week.
Dion Middleton, 45, claimed he felt his life was in danger when something that “felt like glass shards or bullet fragments” hit his back while he was off duty in the Bronx. Middleton told the police he turned around and saw a passenger in a vehicle make a gesture with his hand before the window began to roll up. He then drew his firearm, fired toward the car, and left the scene without reporting the shooting.
Officers responding to a 911 call found Chaluisant in the car but did not find a weapon; what they found was a toy water bead gun. The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association called the toy gun “a weapon” that “no longer resembles toys.” However, an NYPD tweet posted hours after the shooting and warning citizens against using water bead guns clearly shows orange markings indicative of a toy gun.
Incidents involving law enforcement and water bead guns have increased recently with the advent of the TikTok hashtag “orbeezchallenge,” which encourages people to shoot gel Orbeez balls with toy air rifles.