excessive force

In 1968 The Supreme court ruling on Terry v. Ohio established the constitutionality of the practice of racial profiling known as ‘stop and frisk’. In 1989, just two years before the Rodney King case, a Supreme Court ruling established that the ‘objectively reasonable standard’ in moments where officers use force – is what would be ‘reasonable’ as determined by ‘the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene’.

Taken together these court rulings legitimized an EPIDEMIC OF PUBLIC LYNCHING which is now regularly caught on cell phone, dashboard and body cams – documenting that police can murder unarmed black men and women with impunity. 


In the NYT Kashana Cauley called cases of police violence - where the death was ruled a homicide but the police person known to be responsible was not indicted or charged - ‘immaculate executions’. Think of Eric Garner… There have been many ‘immaculate executions’ over the years, cases in which blacks were killed by the police or died in police custody that have been documented in amateur video tapes, by citizen by-standers with cellphone cameras or by dashboard and body cameras.