‘The victim becomes the criminal’: how prosecutors vilify those killed by police

In reports on police killings, district attorneys dredge up negative details about victims and promote racist tropes, adding to families’ pain

One year after police killed Stephon Clark in his family’s backyard, law enforcement officials launched a different kind of assault on the 22-year-old.

They attacked his reputation and impugned his character.

Anti-Muslim Hate Has Been Rampant on Reddit Since the New Zealand Shooting

And the platform doesn’t seem to care.

Days after the tragic shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Reddit has remains a home for the exact type of white supremacist and Islamaphobic hate that the killer used to rationalize his massacre.

BOOKS: The Affluenza Murder Case That Shocked America 100 Years Ago

At the turn of the twentieth century, a group of teenagers in Brooklyn collectively known as the Bedford Avenue Gang (many came from relatively wealthy families) were bucking the restrictive societal norms of their parents. This crew routinely got fucked up, had a lot of sex, and was prone to commit petty crimes.

But things went bad when Florence Burns, a young woman from the neighborhood, had a violent quarrel with one of the Gang, Walter Brooks, on Valentine’s Day 1902 at the Glen Island Hotel. Several hours later, Brooks was found dying in a hotel room with a bullet wound in his head. 

CALIFORNIA: Police Kill Rapper While Sleeping In Car

“The family of a young Bay Area rapper who was killed when police officers opened fire after he had fallen asleep in his car is demanding the release of police bodycam footage and questioning whether deadly force was justified.

Police in Vallejo, California, said in a news release that the six officers shot “multiple rounds” at the driver — identified by his family as Willie McCoy, 20 — in the span of four seconds Saturday night in a Taco Bell parking lot. It’s unclear how many bullets struck McCoy, but his family said they believe at least 20 may have hit his car based on the number of holes that witnesses counted at the scene.

“It seems like an execution,” David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin and manager, said Wednesday. “It looks like my baby cousin was executed by a firing squad.”

Hosts: Cenk Uygur, Brooke Thomas, Jayar Jackson

Call to investigate James Brown’s death after murder claims

More than a dozen people have called for a new inquiry into the death of soul and funk legend James Brown, in a major CNN investigation that hears allegations that he and wife Adrienne Brown were murdered.

Sam Cooke’s Murder, Alleged Cover-Up Gets Re-Examined by Netflix Series

Jon Blistein: Rolling Stone

Nefarious cover-ups, the Civil Rights movement and the music and activism of Sam Cooke converge in the trailer for the next episode of the Netflix docu-series, ReMastered, out February 8th.

Cooke was shot dead at the age of 33 by motel manager Bertha Franklin, who said the singer broke into her office and attacked her. Because of this, Cooke’s death was deemed a “justifiable homicide” and Franklin was never charged. However, the singer’s family has long claimed that Cooke’s death was part of a larger conspiracy due to his prominence in the Civil Rights movement.

The trailer for Cooke’s episode of ReMastered offers a fascinating look at the tensions that defined the singer’s career. Though record executives wanted him to be nothing more than an entertainer, Cooke invited controversy and threats for championing Civil Rights and refusing to play segregated venues. As one interviewee suggests, the bigger a star Cooke became, the more threatening many people thought him to be: “Sam Cooke might be the most dangerous to you because he’s already in white American living rooms.”