2018 saw most killings linked to US far right since 1995: ADL

Watchdog says 2018 saw most far-right-linked killings since 1995, with 42 of 50 murders carried out by firearm.

People protesting against US President Donald Trump wait near the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [Brendan Smialowski/AFP]

People protesting against US President Donald Trump wait near the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [Brendan Smialowski/AFP]

From a deadly ambush on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 to a Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, every US “extremism-related murder” in 2018 was linked to the far right,according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Last year marked the most killings by far-right attackers since 1995, with 42 of 50 murders carried out with firearms, an annual report published by the ADL concluded.

The report adds that 2018 was the fourth-deadliest year on record since the ADL started tracking such murders in 1970.

“The white supremacist attack in Pittsburgh should serve as a wake-up call to everyone about the deadly consequences of hateful rhetoric,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, in a statement.

“It’s time for our nation’s leaders to appropriately recognise the severity of the threat and to devote the necessary resources to address the scourge of right-wing extremism.”

Hate before the vote: Pipe bombs, shootings, incitement

The ADL partly attributes the comparably high number of deaths to a series of mass shootings, including 17 incidents involving “shooting sprees that caused 38 deaths and injured 33 people”.

One of the perpetrators, 17-year-old Corey Johnson of Florida, had switched from white supremacism and “allegedly converted to Islam” prior to stabbing several people during a sleepover, killing a 13-year-old and injuring two others.

A demonstrator waits for the start of a protest in the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh [Matt Rourke/AP Photo]

Unlike previous years, the ADL included a new category of political motivation known as the incel (or “involuntary celibacy”) movement.

The incel movement is a predominantly white online subculture populated by men who blame women for their failure to find sexual or romantic partners.

In November 2018, Scott Paul Beierle opened fire on a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, killing 61-year-old Nancy Van Vessem and 21-year-old Maura Binkley. Four others were injured; Beierle killed himself.

Media reports later found that Beierle had posted several YouTube videos in which “he revealed deep-seated hatred towards women, particularly women in interracial relationships who had ostensibly betrayed their ‘blood'”, the report says.

Hate crimes on the rise

In California’s Orange County on January 2, 2018, Samuel Woodward, a member of the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, stabbed to death Blaze Bernstein, a former classmate of Woodward’s who was gay and Jewish. Woodward was charged with first-degree murder with hate crime enhancement.

In February 2018, Nikolas Cruz shot up his former high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 and wounding 17 more.

In October 2018, white nationalist Robert Bowers allegedly stormed a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue and shot dead 11 worshipers. Authorities charged him with 44 counts, including religious hate crimes.

The youngest victim was 53 years old and the oldest was 97.

Barry Werber, a 76-year-old survivor of that attack, later told the Associated Press, “I don’t know why he thinks the Jews are responsible for all the ills in the world, but he’s not the first and he won’t be the last.”

Anti-Muslim campaigning in the US is a ‘losing strategy’: report

Werber added, “Unfortunately, that’s our burden to bear. It breaks my heart.”

In the wake of the massacre, critics accused US President Donald Trump of stoking hatred and inciting against minorities, a charged Trump rejected.

Writing on Twitter after visiting the community in the wake of the incident, Trump dismissed the criticism and claimed his office was “shown great respect on a very sad and solemn day” in Pittsburgh.

The FBI reported a 17-percent rise in hate crimes in 2017, the largest increase in more than a decade.

 

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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Members of group giving food, water to migrants convicted of misdemeanors.

Four members of the group No More Deaths face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a possible $500 fine.

Four humanitarian aid volunteers were convicted of misdemeanor charges on Friday after leaving food and water for migrants crossing a remote wildlife refuge on the United States-Mexico border in 2017.

Image: Scott Warren
Scott Warren’s trial is due to begin in May.Arizona State University

Four other volunteers with the group No More Deaths are set to go on trial next month and in March over similar charges, the organization said.

A ninth volunteer, Scott Warren, also faces felony harboring and concealment charges after allegedly providing food, water, beds and clean clothes to two undocumented immigrants last year. His trial is scheduled to begin in May.

In Friday’s decision, United State District Court Judge Bernardo Velasco said the volunteers — Natalie Hoffman, Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco — hadn’t obtained permits to enter the Cabeza Prieta Refuge and Wilderness Area or followed the Department of Interior’s rules while they were there.

They face a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a possible $500 fine.

No More Death has described the food and water its volunteers leave for the migrants in the 860,000-acre refuge, located west of Tucson, Arizona, as life-saving.

In a news release, the group said that 155 people are known to have died in the area since 2001.

“This verdict challenges not only No More Deaths volunteers, but people of conscience throughout the country,” one of the group’s volunteers, Catherine Gaffney, said in a statement. “If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country?”

Last year, No More Deaths published videos of apparent border agents kicking and emptying water jugs that its volunteers had left in the desert. A report that was co-authored with La Coalición de Derechos Humanos documented what No More Deaths described as the “intentional destruction” of more than 3,000 gallons of water.

Video shows border agents dumping water left for migrants

“If anybody sees any activities like the ones seen in the videos, they need to inform us so we can take the corrective action because it’s not acceptable,” he said.

As punishment, the refuge’s law enforcement officer could have admonished or banned the volunteers from the refuge, Velasco wrote. But in this case, he added, the Department of Interior and Department of Justice authorized their prosecution.

In addition to not obtaining entry permits, Velasco wrote, the volunteers did not remain on designated roads and they left food, water and crates in the refuge — moves that erode the area’s “pristine nature,” he wrote.

“No one in charge of No More Deaths ever informed them that their conduct could be prosecuted as a criminal defense,” Velasco wrote. “The Court can only speculate as to what the Defendants’ decisions would have been had they known the actual risk of their undertaking.”

By Tim Stelloh, NBC

New York: “Crime + Punishment” Exposes Racial Quotas in the NYPD & Retaliation Against Heroic Officers Who Speak Out

JANUARY 08, 2019
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A group of New York Police Department officers are challenging what they call a racially charged policy of quotas for arrests and summonses. Known as the ”NYPD 12,” they risked their reputations and livelihoods to confront their superiors, fight illegal quotas and demand a more just police force. We look at a film following their story called “Crime + Punishment.” It has just been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. We speak with Stephen Maing, the film’s director and producer, and Lieutenant Edwin Raymond, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the NYPD 12.

[There are good people out there, good police officers even, who STILL try and do the right thing.  Salute.]

Georgia, USA: Bad southern cop caught telling citizen ‘suck my dick!’

GRIFFIN, Ga. — Police body cameras recorded an officer telling a citizen to “suck my ****” during an otherwise-calm custody dispute.

The now-viral video might never have been seen had the 11Alive Investigators taken the word of the Griffin Police Department. After we asked for “any and all” video from the incident under the Georgia Open Records Act, the city gave us only a single body camera pointed skyward, showing nothing but the porch ceiling.

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A second police body camera video — showing the entire exchange — was released to the 11Alive Investigators only after we found evidence of its existence in an internal police department email.

Officer Travis Wick resigned from the Griffin Police Department after begging Police Chief Mike Yates not to fire him.

Officer Wick was one of two officers responding to a call for help from Andrew Orahoske, who is locked in a custody fight for his daughter. The Griffin officers told Orahoske that they could not take the girl from her mother without a signed order by a judge.

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The August 26 exchange, caught on both officers’ body cameras, was relatively routine until Officer Wick asked Orahoske for his first name. “I’m not gonna give you none of my information now, because I don’t want to get in trouble tonight,” the father said.

That’s when Officer Wick responded, “well you can suck my d***!”

The situation quickly escalated in response to the officer’s profane outburst. The official police report suggests the citizens were responsible, and made no mention of Officer Wick’s euphemistic demand for oral sex.

The citizens “seemed to become irritated that the police couldn’t help them, and became uncooperative at which point they requested a supervisor to the scene,” according to the police report.

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/391698665/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-vEPiGLLslkgYiyFwqbJA&show_recommendations=true

After a heated argument with the citizens, Officer Wick turned to leave. That’s when a female friend sitting next to Orahoske said, “We’re trying to get a child back, and you told us to suck your d****!”

Officer Wick turned back and responded, “No, I didn’t ask you. I asked him,” referring to Orahoske.

The officer’s body camera was still recording in his patrol car. Officer Wick called a lieutenant on his cell phone and said, “and he’s like, ‘well just never mind, I’m not going to give you my information.’ And I told him, ‘well you can suck my d***!’ And they flipped out.”

“I f***ed up,” the officer told his lieutenant.

Watch | Video of the entire encounter UNCENSORED

Officer Wick then lit up a cigarette in his patrol car and drove to back to Griffin Police headquarters to face the consequences.

“You made a pretty darn stupid remark,” Chief Yates told Officer Wick during an August 29 disciplinary meeting. Officer Wick replied, “I just said it. I don’t know why. I don’t. I mean that’s it, chief. It was f****** stupid, man.”

The police chief agreed, but worried how this incident would look to outsiders. Chief Yates asked Officer Wick, “if you got involved in a…use of deadly force, and then somebody got that video and played it, how do you think that would play out? If were sitting in federal court or before some grand jury or something like that?”

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Officer Wick responded,“I apologize chief. I don’t know why that happened. I don’t know what set me off.” Chief Yates asked again, “is that what we’re gonna tell the grand jury?”

“Or (news channels) 2, 5, or 11,” Captain Michael Natale added.

Officer Wick begged for his job, saying “please don’t fire me chief” four times in a row. “I’m a good officer, chief,” he added.

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Chief Yates brought up Wick’s previous employer, The Locust Grove Police Department. “If that was just a one-time thing,” the chief said, “and it just popped out of nowhere because you were having a bad day and your dog just died, that would be one thing. But on the tail end of you being hired after you got fired from Locust Grove…”

Personnel records show Officer Wick resigned voluntarily from the Locust Grove Police Department in 2008. His resignation followed an internal review of an alcohol-related incident on duty.

Internal memos show Officer Wick called in sick the day he was supposed to be returning from vacation because he was drinking. The police review concluded Officer Wick showed up to court smelling of alcohol.

The records indicate Officer Wick had a blood alcohol concentration of .036 percent right before he was scheduled to testify in court.

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Locust Grove officials still strongly recommended that Griffin Police hire the officer in 2009.

While we were interviewing Andrew Orahoske on his front porch, he received a call from Griffin Police investigators. He told a police commander, “Chad called me last night and offered me a steak dinner to drop the charges.”

He was talking about Officer Chad Moxon.

Orahoske reported to Griffin Police Internal Affairs that Moxon had called him with an offer to drop the complaint against his friend, Officer Travis Wick.

Officer Moxon is currently with the Roberta Police Department, but he was a Griffin officer until 2015.

Moxon’s police officer certification is currently on probation, according to records provided by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Moxon agreed to the probation amid a POST investigation into his 2014 DUI arrest.

A Pike County deputy sheriff pulled over Moxon after his motorcycle was seen speeding at 95 to 100 miles per hour through the county. Moxon identified himself as an officer with the Griffin Police Department, which deputies confirmed with a phone call to the department.

Officer Moxon admitted to drinking four beers in the 30 minutes before he got on his motorcycle. He was arrested for DUI after completing several roadside sobriety tests. A breath test revealed a blood alcohol content of .108 percent, according to Moxon’s citation.

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The Griffin District Attorney’s Office reduced the DUI to reckless driving, writing that, “issues exist where (the) state cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Moxon resigned from Griffin after the DUI arrest.

That wasn’t Officer Moxon’s first time on the other side of the law. He was indicted for a 2012 incident in which he was shot by a woman’s ex-boyfriend. Moxon was off duty and in the woman’s home when the ex-boyfriend showed up and demanded to know what Moxon was doing there.

Police records show there was a fist fight in the woman’s house. When the fight spilled outside, the ex-boyfriend pulled out a gun and fired several shots, hitting Officer Moxon in the buttocks as he was running away.

Moxon was indicted for making false statements because of the way he described the fight to a 911 operator. “He just kicked the door into the house, then come in an attacked me,” Moxon is heard saying on the 911 recording. “And then we I took off out the other door, he shot me,” Moxon said.

A judge threw out the case, but Moxon was indicted a second time. The final indictment was also dismissed, in part because two of the grand jurors were convicted felons, according to police records.

Griffin restored Moxon to full duty in 2013 after the indictments were thrown out. POST did its own investigation, and Moxon agreed to a year’s probation that expired before the Pike County DUI stop.

“Basically he was offering to take me out to dinner,” Orahoske said about Moxon’s phone call to him.

“He wanted to take me and Travis (Wick) out to dinner, and buy us both a steak dinner and see if we can resolve this,” Orahoske added.

When the 11Alive Investigators first contacted Officer Moxon about this through Facebook Messenger, he first denied any knowledge of the Wick case. “I’m not familiar with that. I left Griffin two years ago,” he wrote in response to our message.

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When we pointed out Orahoske’s complaint to Griffin about the steak dinner offer, Moxon responded, “As far as the steak dinner, all I told him was he would like Travis if he got to know him. I said the IA doesn’t involve me, but is (SIC) he wanted to talk to Wick (he indicated that he did) I’d buy them both dinner. With the other stuff, I have kids now and just want to put it behind me. I’ve been punished and now I just want to move forward with my life,” Officer Moxon said.

Moxon insists he was the one to tell Orahoske to go to internal affairs in the first place.

Orahoske has a different version of events. “(Moxon) asked me if I would go down to the police department today and drop the complaint,” he told police investigators on the phone.

“You go down there and drop the complaint, I’ll take you dinner. I’ll buy you both dinner,” Orahoske said.

 WARNING: This video contains explicit language. This is the full uncensored video.

Attorney: Accused deputy killer was ‘beat and pummeled’ to point of defecation

John Williams’ defense attorney claims their client was “severely injured” during his arrest to the point of “causing him to defecate himself.”

PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — A motion to suppress has been filed in the case against accused deputy killer John Williams, requesting the court to throw out any statements made by Williams after his arrest due to “coercive tactics in violation of due process.”

Williams is accused of shooting and killing Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole on the night of April 25. After a statewide manhunt that drew national attention, he was arrested on April 28.

The defense attorney for Williams alleges that during their client’s arrest officers “beat and pummeled him to the point of causing him to defecate himself,” according to court documents.

June 12Suspected deputy killer John WIlliams enters ‘not guilty plea’

May 2Timeline of John Williams’ movements on night of Cpl. Cole’s murder

Williams’ attorney said photos show that officers “severely injured [him], kicking him in the head and face, among other things, and causing severe bruising and then holding up his head by the back of his hair like game trophy.”

The attorney claims Williams was convinced he would “continue to be beaten and traumatized by overzealous police officers, who apparently felt justified in their treatment” of him.

April 30Maine State Police defends controversial photo of alleged deputy killer

April 28Suspect brought to justice using Cpl. Cole’s handcuffs

Williams’ attorney said their client “was not physically and mentally able to provide a voluntary statement to detectives due to his withdrawal from opiates,” which they claim made him incapable of advocating for himself or making important decisions, and thus his statements made after his arrest “were not voluntary under Maine and federal law.”

Maine Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland said he had “no response” to the claims.

NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to the Maine Attorney General’s office, which is prosecuting the case, but we received no response.

johnwilliamsarrest_1535663405042.png
via Maine State Police

Motion to Suppress in State of Maine v. John Williams by NEWSCENTER26 on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/387433154/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-HU4DThsGKThXGt4FUt5x&show_recommendations=true

UPDATE: NEWS CENTER Maine initially stated Corporal Cole was killed on March 25 and John Williams was arrested on April 21. The correct dates are April 25 and April 28 respectively and the text has been updated to reflect the corrections. We apologize for the error.

US Senate passes sweeping criminal justice reform bill!

Prisoners in an overcrowded California correctional facilityPrisoners in an overcrowded California correctional facility

The US Senate has passed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill seeking to address concerns that the US locks up too many of its citizens.

The First Step Act, which has been championed by US President Donald Trump, passed by a vote of 87-12.

The bipartisan measure found unlikely support from hardline conservatives and progressive liberals alike.

The US leads the world in number of jailed citizens. Around 2.2m Americans were in jail in 2016, figures show.

The bill, which is expected to be debated in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, would only affect federal prisoners accounting for about 10% of the total US prison population.

Moments after the vote passed, President Trump tweeted: “America is the greatest Country in the world and my job is to fight for ALL citizens, even those who have made mistakes.”

What does the law actually do?

The bill would overhaul the US justice system by giving more discretion to judges during sentencing, and by strengthening prisoner rehabilitation efforts.

Among the sentencing guidelines being revised is one reducing the “three strikes” penalty for drug felons from life in prison to 25 years.

The “three strikes” policy – introduced during the Clinton presidency – mandated strict penalties for those convicted of three serious crimes.

How police line-ups jail the innocent

The First Step Act also limits the disparity in sentencing guidelines between powder and crack cocaine, which could affect up to 2,600 prisoners, according to the Marshall Project.

It allows for more criminals to serve their sentences in halfway houses or under home confinement, and requires offenders to be jailed within 500 miles (800km) of their families.

The exterior of a prison in IllinoisThe exterior of a prison in Illinois

It bans shackling pregnant prisoners and mandates that tampons and sanitary napkins be available to women.

It reduces the mandatory minimum sentences for serious drug crimes, and authorises $375m (£297m) in federal spending for job training and educational programmes for prisoners.

New Jersey Democratic Cory Booker hailed the legislation as “one small step [that] will affect thousands and thousands of lives”.

How did it get this far?

All 49 Democrats in the Senate voted in favour of the bill, with several mentioning that prisons are disproportionally filled with minority groups.

Twelve conservative law-and-order Republican senators voted against the bill.

Many of the supporters of the First Step Act had also rallied behind the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, which was supported by former President Barack Obama.

That bill looked set for passage before Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell blocked it, and refused to put it to a vote in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Earlier this year, White House adviser Jared Kushner began working with Republicans to draft a bill that Mr Trump could sign into law.

With Mr Trump’s endorsement, the Republican group was able to shore up enough support to bring the bill to a vote.

“This is the biggest thing,” said Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley after the vote was held.

Presentational grey line

So Congress actually did something?

Analysis box by Anthony Zurcher

The first two years of the Donald Trump presidency have been defined in part by high-profile partisan battles in Congress – over healthcare, immigration, tax reform and presidential nominees. Beneath the surface, however, there’s been a somewhat surprising undercurrent of bipartisan co-operation.

Democrats and Republicans have come together to pass legislation to address the opioid addiction crisis, modernise the Federal Aviation Administration, provide additional resources for veterans and fund vast swaths of the federal government using traditional appropriations processes.

In the last few weeks alone, Congress enacted – and the president signed – a law to provide research and treatment for sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorderthat predominantly affects African-Americans. It unanimously passed a $60m bill to prevent maternal mortality.

This criminal justice reform bill could represent the highest-profile accomplishment yet.

With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives next year, Congress and the president will have no choice but to seek bipartisan solutions if they want to enact any significant legislation. That may be a challenge, given that even as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders heralded the reform bill as a “historic win”, she couldn’t resist taking a shot across the political aisle.

“Imagine how much more we can accomplish in the years ahead if – like on criminal justice – Democrats spend more time working with GOP to build America up and less time tearing the President down,” she tweeted.

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Appalling video shows NY police pulling baby from mother’s arms (in the land of the Free..)

Outrage over video showing NYPD officers violently yanking toddler from his mother’s arms at Brooklyn food stamp office.

[Screenshot of Facebook video posted by Monae Sinclari]

Other customers in the city office shouted at the officers. At one point, an officer can be seen on the video pulling her stun gun and pointing it at people in the angry crowd.

Headley was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, endangering the welfare of a child and trespassing. As of Monday morning, she was still in jail because there was a warrant for her arrest in New Jersey, prosecutors said.

“We did not request any bail and Ms Headley’s hold is in connection with a warrant from New Jersey,” the Brooklyn prosecutor’s office said on Twitter. “We are reaching out to authorities in that state to expedite her release.”

The New York Police Department is investigating. The Brooklyn public defender’s office called on prosecutors to dismiss the charges, asking “why police were ever involved”.

“In our experience, people are often treated abysmally when seeking support from many of the city bureaucracies that are supposed to be helping them,” Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of Brooklyn Defender Services, said in a statement that echoed the complaints of public assistance clients.

‘A blemish on our city’

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a Democrat, likened the officers involved in Headley’s arrest to “Border Patrol police snatching away” a baby. He called the arrest “a blemish on our entire city”.

“The mother didn’t endanger the welfare of the child. The actions of the department endangered the welfare of the child,” Adams said at a news conference Monday morning. “If it’s wrong in Mexico, then it’s wrong in New York City.”

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office said it was independently investigating and “reviewing all available videos and interviewing witnesses with the intention of reaching a swift decision.”

The NYPD, which called Friday’s confrontation “troubling”, said security guards had “brought the woman to the floor” before officers arrested her as she resisted.

Ferguson disputed that, saying a police officer had forced the woman to the floor.

“This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, a Democrat, said on Twitter. “I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this. It’s hard to watch this video.”

Corey Johnson

@CoreyinNYC

This is unacceptable, appalling and heart breaking.

I’d like to understand what transpired and how these officers or the NYPD justifies this.

It’s hard to watch this video.

Alex S. Vitale

@avitale

There are 3 NYPD officers and a sgt. shown ripping a baby out of the hands of a mother in an ACS office. This was the best plan they could come up with? No threat to anyone, no emergency, just brutal disregard for the well-being of mother and child. https://www.facebook.com/nyashia.ferguson/videos/2165023130216850/ 

A court document said the toddler was just under 18 months old. A family member was taking care of the child, authorities said.

‘Being poor is not a crime’

Democrat Letitia James, the city’s public advocate and the state’s attorney general-elect, said “being poor is not a crime,” in a statement. “No mother should have to experience the trauma and humiliation we all witnessed in this video.”

Assistance recipients are treated as burdens and looked down on, said Karen Blondel, 56, a former client at the Brooklyn office, said.

“It’s absolutely inhumane,” she said, adding that workers should not be judgmental. “It’s about who’s eligible.”

Jeremy Friedman, 32, a massage therapist who has received food stamps, said it’s important to examine the NYPD’s actions and also those of the Human Resources Administration, where he said he was “treated like I’m not even human”.

Jennifer Roman, 33, said she works but has used public benefits for 13 years. She went to the Brooklyn office for the first time Monday after moving to the neighbourhood from the Bronx.

There’s a system-wide problem of disrespect, Roman said, and she was not surprised by what the video showed.

There’s a perception, she said, that “since we need help, we’re no good, we’re scum”.

Emantic Bradford Jr: Alabama man killed ‘shot three times in back’ by local police; POW! POW! POW!

A man wrongly killed by police in an Alabama mall was shot three times from behind, an autopsy has revealed.

Emantic Bradford Jr, known as EJ, was shot in the head, neck and hip at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama.

Police had identified him as the gunman in the shooting of an 18-year-old man and 12-year-old girl last month.

But they later admitted they were mistaken and have since arrested another man. Erron Brown, 20, handed himself in to police.

According to an autopsy requested by Bradford’s family, a police officer shot the 21-year-old three times from behind.

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing Bradford’s family, reportedly told a news conference that based on the autopsy, “this officer should be charged with a crime”.

“There’s nothing that justifies him shooting EJ as he’s moving away from him.”

The officer responsible has been placed on administrative leave, and an investigation is under way.

Riverside Galleria in Hoover, AlabamaThe shooting took place at the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover, Alabama

However, authorities have given scant details about the case, and are refusing to release body camera footage of the incident.

In a joint statement reported by broadcaster ABC News, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato and police chief Nicklaus Derzis said disclosing such evidence could “jeopardise the integrity” of the investigation.

Bradford was carrying a weapon at the time of the shooting, for which he had a permit. Police said he “heightened the sense of threat” at the scene by drawing his gun after shots rang out at the mall.

Under Alabama gun law, it is not illegal to carry a gun in public, but the Riverchase Galleria prohibits firearms on its premises.