Posts Tagged ‘police brutality’

The Richmond Police Department, like most police departments, routinely breaks the law, behaves in racist ways, and engages in acts of brutality against the public.

In the past week we have seen or heard of 3 incidents of police brutality. Anyone with video footage of police brutality is highly encouraged to email us a copy or a link at wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Anyone who wants tips on how to copwatch or on your rights when dealing with the police is also encouraged to get in touch. The Wingnut Anarchist Collective started Richmond Copwatch about 3 years ago. We no longer have a formal Copwatch organization (though if you are interested let us know), but we still have the capacity to host workshops, come to you and your organization with a workshop, and of course to observe and record the police in Richmond and every where we go.

Here is a link to a story about an incident that occurred in Gilpin Court, a nearby neighborhood: http://www.nbc12.com/story/21997791/richmond-community-claims-excessive-police-force-during-arrest

We have also heard that a man in Southern Barton Heights was beaten up by the police this week, and some of us were a witness to a man getting tazed at Harrison and Grace St. on Saturday night.

If you have video or pictures of the police tazing, beating, harassing, stop and frisking, etc. please send it to us! The more people who watch and record the police on a regular basis the less bullshit they can get away with. These are our neighborhoods, let’s take them back from the biggest most violent gang in Richmond- the Police Department.

Have received the news that around 100 people in Brooklyn are rioting tonight in reaction to the murder of 16 year old Kimani Gray by the NYPD on Saturday night.

Confirmed: There is a small riot in Brooklyn. Riot police are following the crowd on Church Ave. Police are currently searching houses without warrants.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/11/kimani-gray-shot-killed-nypd-cops_n_2852751.html

http://rt.com/usa/brooklyn-riot-police-protesters-127/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2291941/Brooklyn-riot-Teens-protest-death-Kimani-Gray-Flatbush.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Well wishes to the folks in Brooklyn, standing up to police brutality and racism in their city. Hope yall stay safe to fight another day.

kimani

RIP Kimani “KiKi” Gray

First Meeting of proposed new Barton Heights Neighborhood Association

Barton Heights has not had a Neighborhood Association since the previous President, the much loved Ralph Harris sadly passed away.

Mark Dorroh, who was the Secretary at the time, is now organizing to re-create the Neighborhood Association.

An email list has been revived, and a few items proposed for the agenda of the first meeting.

Some of the proposed agenda items include working with the police to have a National Night Out event on August 7th, and forming a Neighborhood Watch program as part of the Neighborhood Association. These are 2 things that us Wingnuts are against, and we would encourage folks who have questions about our stance on these topics to get in touch.

The previous incarnation of our neighborhood association worked with police, invited them to meetings to report on crime, and included them on the email list. The previous neighborhood association also used a hierarchical structure for organization, and majority rules decision making.  Because the organization is re-starting there is an opportunity this Wednesday for community members to come express what they really do and do not want in a neighborhood association and we strongly encourage folks to come out and do so.

We can choose to not work with the police, to not welcome them at our meetings, to not include a neighborhood watch group that calls the police as part of the association, and to operate through consensus or another more equitable decision making process.

The first meeting will be on Wednesday July 18th at 6:30 pm at the Northside Family Resource Center at 800 West Graham Road- behind the 2 auto parts stores on Chamberlayne Ave.

Folks who would like a ride should meet at the Wingnut Anarchist Collective at 2005 Barton Avenue at 6pm on Wed. July 18th.

rarmcwa@aol.com is Mark’s email, so folks interested in being added to the Barton Heights Neighborhood Association email list should send him an email requesting it. If folks need help accessing the internet, the Wingnut has wireless you can come use, and a computer  which are both available during Open Hours on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-9pm.

We will also be making paper fliers and info about the meeting available around the area to help get in touch with folks without internet access.

Call, stop by, or email us if you would like to talk about any of this! 804 303 5449, wingnut_collective@yahoo.com

Join Southern Barton Heights Copwatch on Friday July 6th at 8pm to participate in a Copwatch Patrol of the First Fridays Artwalk on Broad Street.

Meet at 422 West Broad, in front of the Made RVA General Store.

Bring cameras- video or still, cell phones, flashlights or headlamps, water and snacks if you have them. Please dress for the weather and with shoes you are comfortable walking around in for a couple of hours.

If you are able to, we recommend that you get in touch with Copwatch ahead of time for a Know Your Rights training and a brief How to Copwatch training. We will coordinate groups for that evening, and also arrange for a group debriefing at the end of the night.

August of 2011 was the first month we did an official patrol of the First Fridays event (after over a year of doing Copwatch in Richmond), and one Copwatcher had a tazer put in their face by a Richmond Cop. In September, a smaller patrol went out and was assaulted and harassed by the Richmond police, culminating in one member of Copwatch being arrested at the end of the night on bogus charges. We refuse to be intimidated by the illegal actions of the Richmond Police Department. The aggressive, illegal, and unprofessional behavior of the Richmond Police Department as a whole, simply goes to show the necessity of Copwatch, and the regular observing and recording of a police force as long as one exists. Beyond that the continued violent and oppressive behavior of many members of the Richmond Police Department goes to show the systemic nature of problems with police- problems that will be solved not through reform, but through abolition. As long as the police congregate on Broad Street to oppress and antagonize largely youth of color in order to maintain the gentrifying aspects of the First Fridays Artwalk, Copwatch will be there.

In July we will be doing patrols of this event, cameras in hand. If you are interested in joining us for the patrol, please get in touch, so we know how many cameras and other equipment to bring out with us. We will start patrols around 8:30pm, and keep going until everyone is tired. We will try to make ourselves visible for folks who might just want to have conversations through out the night.

This will be a chance for folks who have never experienced Copwatch to talk with experienced copwatchers and get some training as to how to safely observe and record the police.

You can get in touch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or 804 303 5449 or come to the Copwatch meeting on the 4th Tuesday of each month  at 7pm at 2005 Barton Avenue

Henrico Police shot and seriously wounded an upset and allegedly bipolar man Thursday afternoon (April 26) off of Three Chopt Road.

Multiple neighbors who witnessed this event have already come forward to speak out against this instance of police brutality. They describe the situation where Allen Skeens posed no threat to the officers, and where the cops shot him in the chest as a first attempt at detaining him.

This picture was taken by Heather Powell, thanks!

Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Allen Skeens. We hope he has a swift and full recovery

This instance is a great example of why Copwatching is so important. If it were not for the multiple neighbors who were brave enough to stay and observe and take photos of this situation, it might not be so clear that Allen Skeens was brutally attacked by the police today. Too often the only side of the story heard in these circumstances is that of the police.

Please observe and record the police whenever you can, and get other people to stay with you. If you would like a training on how to do this in a more safe way and how to protect your rights, please get in touch with us at sbhcopwatch [at] gmail.com or 804 303 5449.

Video footage of interviews with some witnesses as well as 3 pictures taken by one of them are available here: http://wtvr.com/2012/04/26/graphic-warning-pics-of-police-involved-shooting/

Sometimes the hardest part about being called a terrorist is trying to explain how it happened. None of the current members of the Wingnut Anarchist Collective were at last Saturday’s protest, and none of us were involved in its planning. Some friends of ours, and former members of our collective were involved, and some folks we really like were among those arrested, but that doesn’t really explain why State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment is calling us terrorists on the senate floor and in the newspaper.
It’s easy to feel upset about being called a terrorist. It’s pretty widely known how the government treats people after it starts calling them terrorists, so having a fairly important politician call you a terrorist is a lot like a threat. Rather than getting all bent out of shape about it, we’re probably going to go ahead and make terrorist glitter paint t-shirts or something.
We’re not going to let this stuff get to us because getting all outraged about Senator Tommy’s (ignorant, irresponsible) name calling is giving him what he wants, which is to distract from the bad behavior of his side. It isn’t the Wingnut that wants to legislate away women’s rights in order to score cheap political points. It wasn’t the Wingnut that sent armed, masked men to face down peaceful protestors. It wasn’t the Wingnut that forced these same protestors onto a bus and held them for hours on end with a bucket for a toilet and no water. It wasn’t the Wingnut that tried to defend thuggish behavior by its own side by making wild, ignorant allegations about a barely involved 3rd party. That’s on him, and the focus right now should remain on his bad behavior, and the bad behavior of the folks on his side.
As for us, we’re going to keep doing our best and fighting for a better world. Best of luck to our friends and allies. To the folks that were more directly involved in last Saturday’s protest, good on y’all. If nothing else you seem to have put a scare into a lot of shitty people. We here at the Wingnut believe that in order for the right to choose to truly be respected, much more fundamental changes will need to be made to our society than what’s on the table right now. If any of y’all want to talk about it, we’re not going anywhere.

Please come out to support Richmond anarchist and activist Hunter Singleton at his Pre-trial court appearance on Wednesday January 18th at 11am at the Manchester Courthouse on Richmond’s Southside at 920 Hull Street.

Two activists, Eric and Hunter were arrested on November 9th during a march for Occupy Richmond. They were on the sidewalk, when Eric, then Hunter, were grabbed by Richmond police and dragged into Monroe Park. They have been charged with the Felony of wearing a mask in public.They were part of a large group of people who applied apple cider vinegar to bandannas and scarves as a preventative measure against tear gas the Richmond Police are well known for using. The legal, peaceful march they were participating in knew that there were dozens of Richmond Police awaiting them around Monroe Park.

Additionally both are facing charges of disorderly conduct. Eric is facing a concealed weapons charge for the food tool he had in his backpack for eating apples with, and Hunter is facing a controlled substances charge for his prescription medication. The charges they are facing could result in up to 5 years.

Eric has taken a plea deal on his charges, but Hunter is still dealing with the courts. Please come out to show your solidarity with Hunter!

You can find more about the background of this story online here:

http://richmondlegalsupport.wordpress.com/eric-and-hunter/

Richmond Copwatch will be out on December 2nd to observe and record the police during December’s First Friday. We will be meeting at 6:00pm at the statue in in Festival Park. All are welcome to come out, regardless of experience!

Festival Park is located between Fifth and Seventh Streets, adjacent to the Richmond Coliseum (which is at 601 East Leigh Street, downtown).
The park between the former 6th Street Marketplace and the Richmond Coliseum is called Nina F. Abady Festival Park.

Festival Park is open until 3am so this will be a safe, public place to meet even after dark.

We will present a How to Copwatch training, in order to try to get everyone the information they need to be safe and effective.

Some things to bring include:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras
  • Cell phones
  • Flashlights
  • Water
  • Some snacks
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothing
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook/paper for taking notes and recording information

We will be doing patrols of the First Friday Art Walk with a focus on recording police interactions with people. This is meant to curb the level of violence in the RPD’s crowd control tactics during this event, and to ensure there is a record of evidence when police brutality and violence occurs.

Depending on the number of Copwatchers who show up, we will likely split into two or more working groups and begin patrols shortly after 7:00pm. If there is not much of a police presence, we might keep patrols short and encourage folks to attend the Shockoe Bottom Copwatch Patrol the following day (Saturday Dec. 3rd meet at 10pm in front of Main Street Station).

Come out for as much or as little of First Friday as you are able. If you cannot find us, the point of contact for December’s First Friday Copwatch patrol will be (804) 300-0023.

Fair warning: Copwatchers expose themselves to a certain level of legal risk and police harrassment. If, like us, you refuse to be intimidated by these thuggish oppression tactics, come and join us!

You can get in touch with Richmond Copwatch at sbhcopwatch@gmail.com or (804) 303-5449, or come to the Copwatch meeting on December 27th at 7:00pm, at 2005 Barton Avenue.

 

Last night, 4 members of the Wingnut headed up to Charlottesville to participate in a solidarity march for Eric Scott and Hunter Singleton that was being put together by Occupy Charlottesville.

When the 4 of us arrived we were warmly greeted, and welcomed to their occupation. Folks there wanted to know about what had happened to Eric in Richmond, and what the situation was. Enough people wanted to hear that a Mic Check was initiated, and Eric spoke to the group. He told them about what occurred on November the 9th, and also of how the arrest, experience with jail, and pending charges made him scared in some ways, but made his struggles more important, and that he would not back down.

Hopefully we will have footage of Eric speaking later today, as well as copies of Occupy Charlottesville’s statement in solidarity with Occupy Richmond.

The group marched through the downtown mall, stopping twice to read statements- one in solidarity with Occupy Richmond, and one about the SWAT raids of Occupy Chapel Hill on Sunday.

Chants of No Justice No Peace, and Cops Here, Troops there, U.S. Out of Everywhere echoed through the downtown mall.

On the way back to the park, the solidarity march took the streets, with 4 black flags in the mix. Who’s Streets? Our Streets. Who’s Park? Our Park.

Afterwards, an occupier took the 4 Richmonders out for vegan pizza, and we got a chance to talk to folks in Charlottesville.

Thanks Yall!

Here is a link to a short news piece on last night’s march, which includes an interview with Eric:

http://www.nbc29.com/story/16040138/occupy-charlottesville-protesters-march-to-show-support

These are pictures from the raid today in Chapel Hill. The police, without warning, raided the occupied space, guns out and in the faces of the people present. No word yet on what charges are facing the folks loaded onto a city bus and taken off, but they were trespassing on private property, so that is likely to be one of the charges. We have not heard anything further about the Richmond activist detained by the police. We only know that she was one of the folks detained.

http://anarchistnews.org/node/17796

http://www.dailytarheel.com/index.php/article/2011/11/4ec04a8f753e7

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/11/13/1641362/activists-take-over-vacant-franklin.html