AFD Radio Special: Black Lives Matter Protests

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Topic: Ferguson and Beyond — What happens next in the growing movement? Panel: Jamie Nesbitt Golden, Ama, and JP. Host: Bill. Recorded: December 7th, 2014.

AFD Episode 110:
Ferguson Special II

Panelist bios

Jamie Nesbitt Golden, from Chicago: Freelance writer, participant in the August rallies in Ferguson and the November rallies in Chicago
Ama, from St. Louis County: Lives next to Ferguson, wife owns a business there, 12 year county resident, participant in the August rallies in Ferguson
JP, from St. Louis County: Lives near Ferguson, 10-year U.S. military veteran, 20 year county resident

Related links

Black Lives Matter official website
Hood Feminism
Jamie’s Twitter
STL Public Radio: St. Louis County Emergency Fund Tapped for Police
The Atlantic: How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street
Jacobin: The Bad Kind of Unionism
Daily Camera / Boulder News: Sam Carter, ex-Boulder cop, convicted on all counts in Mapleton elk trial

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What have we learned so far from Wisconsin’s police shootings law?

According to an article from Al Jazeera America, Wisconsin’s groundbreaking law on investigations of shooting deaths by police has not (so far) resulted in any cops facing consequences, but it has revealed a lot more information on cases that previously would have remained shrouded in mystery.

So far this year, law enforcement in the state has shot and killed 6 people. Not a big pool of data, but still worth examining. Of those 6 cases, 2 were suicidal (so, not a helpful response by police), 1 was allegedly attempting to burn down the house of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend (a sheriff’s deputy), and 3 were schizophrenic (but not necessarily having an episode). At least 3 of the victims were already known to the specific law enforcement members involved in the shootings.

This is, of course, not really a revelation — mentally ill or developmentally challenged civilians in the United States have long been the victims of fatal incidents with the police — but it provides more information and case studies that should be used to advocate for increased training for how police can and should respond to people with serious mental health issues or other mental difficulties, to avoid chaotic responses that end in tragedy.