|Handcuffed, barefoot women rarely pose much of a threat to police, particularly if they’re seated on the ground. But when an arrested woman in Rhode Island kicked out at the police officer arresting her, he responded as if she’d actively threatened him — by kicking her in the face. We must set a precedent for making brutalities like these unacceptable. »
Though he was convicted of felony battery, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, Krawetz will spend no time at all in prison. And it will take a special hearing to remove him from the force.
Krawetz’s assault was caught on video. The woman was unable to break her fall as the kick slammed her head on to the curb.
Police forces are on the streets to protect us, not to subject us to more violence. We must demonstrate that actions like Officer Krawetz’s will not go unnoticed.
In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a white police officer. Though there’s major evidence that Davis didn’t commit the crime, Georgia is prepared to put him to death. We have a good chance of stopping this — but only if we speak up now.
The fact is, no physical evidence connected Davis to the murder. Seven of the original nine witnesses have recanted, with many saying their testimony was a result of law enforcement pressure. Of the remaining witnesses, one is highly suspect and the other could be the actual culprit in the officer’s murder.
Now, despite these and other facts, the state of Georgia has taken the first steps toward Davis’ execution — and only the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole stands between Davis and the lethal injection chamber.
Georgia may be about to kill an innocent man. That’s not justice. Please ask the Georgia Parole Board to spare Troy Davis’ life, before it’s too late — and it’s critical that you ask others to do the same:
Since Troy Davis’ 1991 conviction, numerous facts have emerged that introduce significant doubt as to his guilt. These facts include:
All but two of the original witnesses against Troy Davis have signed affidavits recanting their earlier testimony. Most claim that their testimony was coerced by police officers.1
Multiple witnesses say that another man — one of the original witnesses against Davis — has claimed to have slain the fallen officer.2
The weapon used in the murder was never found. The only physical evidence connecting Davis to the crime was indirect, circumstantial — and new testimony disputes Davis’s connection to that evidence.3
In light of this evidence, the Supreme Court granted Davis another chance. But instead of an actual new trial before a jury, which would mean the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecutor, he got an evidentiary hearing before a single federal judge where Davis’ lawyers had the burden to meet an impossibly high and undefined legal standard.
In light of this, it was sad — but no surprise — when the judge rejected the new evidence and cleared the way for Davis’ execution. However, even he acknowledged lingering doubt, noting that the case against Davis was not “ironclad.”
But “ironclad” is exactly what the evidence should be in order to put someone to death. If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole doesn’t act to stop Davis’ execution, they’ll run a serious risk of putting an innocent man to death. That is not acceptable.
Please join us, along with our partners at Amnesty International and the NAACP, in asking the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole to save Troy Davis’ life by commuting his sentence to life in prison. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.
Thanks and Peace,
— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
April 20th, 2011
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1. “Troy Davis – Finality over Fairness,” Amnesty International USA
2. See Reference 1
3. See Reference 1
Since then, more than 35,000 ColorOfChange.org members have spoken out, demanding real justice for the officers involved and a federal investigation of Houston Police Department. Can you help us get to 50,000 signatures?
You can add your voice by clicking the link below. After you do, please pass this information along to your friends and family so that they can join our campaign as well. You can read the original email we sent below.
Thanks and Peace,
— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
A shocking video released last week shows four Houston police officers mercilessly beating a 15-year old burglary suspect while at least eight other officers looked on. Some kicked him repeatedly in the head and legs, others punched his torso — all while young Chad Holley was lying face down with his hands behind his head in surrender.
The officers who beat Holley have only been charged with misdemeanors, and many of the officers on the scene that day are still working as police officers in Houston.
It’s time to demand real accountability for the Houston Police Department — and when we do, it’ll send a clear message to other departments with a similar problem. It starts with the four officers who brutalized Holley, but it can’t stop there. What happened to Chad Holley isn’t merely an isolated incident — it’s the result of a police culture in Houston (and in police departments across the nation) that places little value on Black lives.
Your voice can help change that. Please join us in calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Chad Holley’s brutal beating, and the culture that led to it. And please ask your friends and family to do the same — it’s the first step for reform in Houston and can help shine a light on police brutality in other parts of the country:
Chad Holley ran from Houston police following a burglary — but as soon as he was captured, he immediately stretched out on the ground and put his hands behind his head. But before arresting him, a pack of officers descended on him, stomping, kicking and punching the young man until he blacked out, and leaving him with a broken nose.1,2
Despite this, the officers who beat Holley have only been charged with misdemeanors. All four were charged with “official oppression,” while two of them face an additional misdemeanor charge of violating Holley’s civil rights.3 Each charge carries a maximum of a year in prison — a light penalty for such a clear abuse of power and violation of the public’s trust.
But this is bigger than just the actions of these four officers — Houston Police Department (HPD) has a problem. Misbehavior is rampant among Houston police, with more than 14,000 complaints against HPD officers over the last six years — half of which were upheld. But the real amount of misconduct is likely to be much greater, with much of it not being investigated. Because Black residents distrust the process — and even fear retaliation due to holes in the process — many don’t ever file complaints against police officers.4,5
HPD has painted Holley’s beating as an isolated incident of misconduct, but that’s hard to believe if you watch the video of the incident. Officers attacked Holley simultaneously and without hesitation, as if this kind of violence is routine. There were no fewer than a dozen officers on the scene during the beating, yet HPD leaders didn’t learn of the assault until the security video was mailed to the chief of police and District Attorney — all the officers on the scene were silent until then, willing participants in a cover-up.
This speaks to an important reality: Chad Holley’s beating appears to be the product of a problematic culture within the Houston Police Department — one where officers don’t fear punishment, and where they stick together to hide serious incidents of misconduct. Most recently, this led Houston activist Quanell X, who released the Chad Holley tapes to the public, to announce the release of several more videos of unwarranted police violence.6
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division can help. They have the power to bring charges with penalties that accurately reflect the heinousness of the Holley incident. This is not just important for justice in Holley’s case or for reform in Houston — but for helping to send a signal to other departments across the country. The Department of Justice can also investigate the entire police force, and force changes to the culture that allowed this happen.
If there’s enough public outcry, we can push the DOJ to take a hard look at Chad Holley’s case. That’s why it’s important that as many of us speak up as possible. And after you do, please, urge your friends and family to do the same. It takes just a moment:
Thanks and Peace
— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Natasha, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
February 16th, 2011
Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU — your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here: