Number of Cops Charged With Murder Or Manslaughter Triples In One Year

Chris Menahan | InformationLiberation
Dec. 04, 2015

From the Associated Press:
The number of U.S. police officers charged with murder or manslaughter for on-duty shootings has tripled this year - a sharp increase that at least one expert says could be the result of more video evidence.

In the past, the annual average was fewer than five officers charged. In the final weeks of 2015, that number has climbed to 15, with 10 of the cases involving video.

"If you take the cases with the video away, you are left with what we would expect to see over the past 10 years - about five cases," said Philip Stinson, the Bowling Green State University criminologist who compiled the statistics from across the nation. "You have to wonder if there would have been charges if there wasn't video evidence."

The importance of video was highlighted last week with the release of footage showing a Chicago officer fatally shooting a teenager 16 times. The officer said he feared for his life from the teen, who was suspected of damaging cars using a small knife. He also had a powerful hallucinogen in his bloodstream.

"This had all the trappings of a life-threatening situation for a law-enforcement officer - PCP-laced juvenile who had been wreaking havoc on cars with a knife," said Joseph Tacopina, a prominent New York defense attorney and former prosecutor who has represented several police officers. "Except you have the video that shows a straight-out execution."

When he was charged with first-degree murder last week, officer Jason Van Dyke became the 15th officer in the country to face such charges in 2015.
Read their full report which details some other recent police murders.

There's no question these cases would not have been prosecuted if not for video evidence, which most importantly triggers public outrage.

Police are still regularly acquitted despite video evidence showing blatant crimes because the system is entirely rigged in the state's favor.

The numbers detailed in the AP report are still pathetically low, we're talking an average of 5 cops charged per 1000 police killings, and being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted.

Nonetheless, it's a step in the right direction.

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